Med Cruise; Day 5 – Cannes

It was meant to be Villefranche, from where I was looking forward to taking a trip to Monte Carlo, but the (very slight) swell meant we instead anchored off Cannes. I’d been here once before as a teenager on a family holiday, but it had been a very brief visit and a very long time ago! Roger had never been, so we decided to leave Monte Carlo for another time, and instead explore this starlet of the French Riveira.
The walk from the tender disembarkation point into town was one of the first times on this trip that we’d encountered street traders, selling handbags and sunglasses. But they were very laid-back, and we had no hassle at all as we strolled towards the famous palm-fringed seafront.
We had as usual picked up a map from the services desk, which we had found to be really useful for making your own way about, but a short explore towards the Old Town revealed that it was extremely hilly, and definitely not something Roger would be able to manage. We went back to a coffee shop overlooking the harbour for cafe frappes, and discussed options. He decided to head back to the ship, while I would go exploring on my own. Cannes is pretty safe, and my French is well able to get me through any situation I was likely to encounter.
I firstly climbed all the way to the church at the top of the hill, and spent some time just drinking in the glorious view.

I pottered back down past the tiny little shops and restaurants nestled tightly on each side of the street. Every available space on each tiny patio was filled with flowers and plants. My next stop was the market – a breathtaking array of fruit and veg.  The scent of strawberries filled the air, and of course being France, everything was displayed beautifully. There were teensy wild woodland strawberries, white aubergines, reminding me of their other name of eggplant, round courgettes, courgettes with their flowers still attached,  mushrooms and ceps, tomatoes of all sorts of shape size and colour,  tightly budded peonies, fish, cheese, cured meats…I could have soaked it all up for hours.

I called into the Cafe des Halles behind the market, which seemed to be frequented by a few market traders, and ordered a vin blanc, which came accompanied by a shot glass of gazpacho, a few baguette croutons, and some olives. Magnifique!
From the bus depot by the town hall, I took the No 8 bus, which is an open topped vehicle that runs along the seafront to Palm Beach. It costs 1 euro per trip, and is definitely worth doing for the great views. At Palm Beach I had a fantastic panorama of our boat moored out at sea, and was able to paddle in the warm waves lapping the shore.

Back in town, I called into Streckers, a beer and wine bar behind l’hotel de ville for a glass of Chardonnay (5 euro) and a rather large plate of cheese (10 euro).
I was back on board for 3, read for a while, did the pub quiz at 5, dinner at 7, and off to bed the old cliche – tired but happy.

Cruise Tip Of The Day: you will need more than 7 days worth of underwear, by the time you go for a swim, or to the gym, or shower and change for dinner. Or else be prepared to do some laundry during your trip.

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